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Social Media and Health Care 

Social Media and Health Care
Chapter:
Social Media and Health Care
Author(s):

Rachel A. Tunick

and Sarah R. Brand

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199335114.003.0032
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date: 19 April 2021

Social media (SM) are defined as the myriad of Internet-based applications in which contents are user-generated and interactive, and which provide a forum for the dissemination and sharing of ideas and information. The digital age has irrevocably transformed the landscape of healthcare. Although the pervasiveness of SM is associated with far-reaching and multifaceted benefits for professionals as well as patients and families, associated ethical and professional dilemmas may arise. Practitioners may face potentially problematic situations involving SM use by patients and families, as well as with regard to their own online presence and activity. Patients and their parents can seek support groups of their peers via the Internet, which is invaluable. However, it is important for providers to recognize and understand the potential perils and threats that may accompany SM use and to communicate openly about these matters in order to best anticipate and manage challenging situations.

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